Now Was That Professional?! Professional Email Etiquette

Many of us in the workplace often push their professionalism out the door when it comes to writing emails between co-workers and supervisors. People are more likely to be professional during face-to-face interactions rather than through their emails. With that being said below there are examples of what good business emails should and shouldn’t not include along with examples of a good and bad business email.

To the right you will find an example of bad email etiquette (shown below). EverythingImage about this email screams bad etiquette in the workplace. According to Microsoft Office email etiquette tips, you should never use all capital letters because all caps indicate shouting. The content of the email above is not professional as well. One of the major problems is that this is a waste of someone’s time in the workplace to take time from their work to open an email like the one above, not a good effective use of email at all.   The content discussed in the email should be said on the telephone or better yet outside of the workplace. As well all know the emoticons and text language shown in the example above should not be used when writing emails in the workplace. In addition, the color of the font is not professional either; black and blue font color only within the workplace.

When emailing in the workplace states that there are three main rules that are fairly easy to implement and can take you a long way.

Rule #1: Use Email Efficiently; this includes respond in a timely manner, check and respond to emails only at a designated time in the day so it doesn’t interfere with your work, and if you will be out of the office make sure you set up a message that will be sent to those who send you an email during that time frame.

Rule #2: Mind your manners; it is as simple as being polite and respectful when writing emails.

Rule #3: Don’t use emails to discuss difficult issues; this is important because it maintains confidentiality, depending on the news your get better results if you discuss it in person, and it also avoids common misinterpretations.

These rules I have found to be very accurate while working in many environments and are also stated in more than one creditable website.

The most important tip for emailing in the professional environment is remember that email is not private. Most employers tell you in orientation that they have to the right to check your email and that it is not your privately owned email so be cautious of what you write and what you receive. As stated in the Microsoft Office tips, email is considered company property and can be retrieved, examined, and used in a court of law. With that being said be I cannot stress enough to be mindful of what you email in the workplace. Makes sure you use the workplace email effectively and respectfully.

Lastly, I would like to leave you with an example of what a good professional email should look and sound like.


Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments don’t be afraid to leave them.

Caréa Robinson a soon to be 2012 graduate from the University of South Florida with a Bachelors of Science in Public Health. Her hopes are to work with community outreach within the Public Health field. 

One thought on “Now Was That Professional?! Professional Email Etiquette

  1. I have always known that communication, especially e-mail, should remain professional between co-workers. However, as I began my internship a few months ago, I initially kept all forms of communication professional, but found that quickly slipped out the door, as you mention often happens. I would receive e-mails from my co-workers and supervisor, that were not always how you suggest professional e-mails should be. I would always dwell on how my response should be and if it were okay if I responded informally. I think the informal style e-mails between my co-workers stems from a very close group of individuals, and that in this particular case, you may not always have to follow the rules.

    I do appreciate the tips in the blog, however, because I know not every workplace is as casual, and is strictly business. The information and visual examples are helpful and will benefit many as they enter the professional workforce.

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